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News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.

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Us 9, Sandy 7, Sotomayor 4, Newtown 4, Allstate 4, California 4, Washington 4, Tamron 4, Shira 3, Dennis 3, Obama 3, Boehner 3, Bill Clinton 2, John 2, Mitch Mcconnell 2, Clarence Thomas 2, Nbc 2, United States 2, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2, Geico 2,
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  MSNBC    News Nation    News/Business. Tamron Hall. Tamron Hall provides context and  
   informed perspectives on the stories making headlines. New.  

    January 14, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00pm PST  

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campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall following developing news one week aftbef the inauguration, president obama in the final news
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conference of the first term, the president took questions on the debt ceiling and the gun debate. first, on the rising debt ceiling, the president took direct aim at republicans accusing them of using the nation's credit rating as a, quote, bargaining chip. >> the republicans in congress had two choices here. they can act responsibly and pay america's bills or they can act irresponsibly and put america through another economic crisis. but they will not collect our ransom in exchange for not crashing the american economy. the issue here is whether or not america pays its bills. we are not a deadbeat nation. >> and the debate over guns, one month after 26 children and adults were killed in newtown, and with the nra saying assault weapon ban would not pass congress, the president urged house members to, quote, examine their own conscience. >> the belief that we have to have stronger background checks,
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that we can do a much better job in terms of keeping these magazine clips with high capacity out of the hands of folks who shouldn't have them, an assault weapons ban that's meaningful, that those are things i continue to believe make sense. will all of them get through this congress? i don't know. >> and joining me live now, democratic congresswoman jackie spear of california, vice chair of the new gun violence task force. congresswoman, thank you so much for your time. since you are on this task force, i would like to start off with the president's comments on gun control legislation. he says later this week we'll hear more specifics, but as i mentioned, you had the nra saying that they're doubtful that any legislation at least involving banning assault weapons would make it through congress. you have survived being shot five times in the '70s as a congressional aide so you have
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this dual, i guess, tract if you will as a survivor of gun violence and a member of congress. president said members of congress have to weigh their conscience. what do you feel of that remark from him today? >> well, i think it's a very profound remark and apt. i would also worry that, in fact, this congress is incapable of passing an assault weapon ban. that doesn't mean we shouldn't try and work hard to achieve it but there's things to do to make our streets and classrooms safer and that includes making sure that we have responsible gun owners, that we have responsible dealers, and that we are responsible as policymakers. we have a criminal background check that is riddled with holes right now. you go to a gun show in most states and there is no background check. we don't have all the felons on that database because it's voluntary for the states to provide that information.
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if you are a stalker, if you are a terrorist, you are not on that database. so there's much that we have to do in terms of making sure that these guns do not find themselves in to the hands of the wrong people. beyond that, the dealers most of whom are law abiding. there's a small percentage that are not and yet they're still selling guns and selling them to people who end up being in the situation where they're part of a crime later on. >> congresswoman, we know that the vice president held a series of listening sessions with people of both sides of this debate on what to do next and we also know that in the last election cycle, millions of dollars, somewhere around $20 million contributed by the nra or spent by the nra to keep its influence alive and well and playing what the president said in this news conference regarding the politics of all of this in the midst of us marking one month to the day that those children and teachers were
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killed. >> my starting point is not to worry about the politics. my starting point is to focus on what makes sense. what works. what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe. and that we're reducing the incidence of gun violence and i think we can do that in a sensible way that comports with the second amendment. and then, members of congress i think are going to have a debate and examine their own conscience because, you know, if, in fact, and i believe this is true, everybody across party lines was as deeply moved and saddened as i was by what happened in newtown then, you know, we're going to have to vote based on what we think is best. we are going to have to come up with answers that set politics aside. and that's what i expect congress to do.
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>> we've heard a ton of ideas regarding mental health. some of the ideas you just noted, as well. what's the urgent, most important first step that you would like to see from the president or hear from him this week? >> i think the most important first step is to make sure that we have a comprehensive database, that we are doing criminal background checks on every gun that is purchased. california has one of the strictest laws in the country and yet guns are still coming in to the state because they can be brought from out of state. the importation of these guns, as well. there's a definition that says they have to be for sporting purpose. well, the ak-47 is not for a sporting purpose and yet they're being imported willy-nilly in to this country. there's 18 million of the guns and maybe more in the marketplace. >> let me transition to the debt ceiling. the president obviously again i believe taking on republicans in at least the assertion in his
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opinion that the american people being held hostage here but let me get the latest reaction to you from speaker boehner addressing the president. he says the house will do its job and pass responsible legislation that controls spending, meets the nation's obligations and keep the nation running and insist that the democratic majority in washington do the same. mitch mcconnell saying the president and the allies need to get serious about spending and we look forward to working with him on a huge, huge problem. are we headed to a shutdown? >> i worry that we are and i must say, in fact, the president is right. we have already incured these debts. these wars in iraq and afghanistan cost us dearly in lives and in treasure. and the fact that they're willing to shut down this government because they're going to use the debt ceiling as a way to extract more in terms of spending cuts will be the death
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knell and i think it will be the death knell of the republican party in congress if they do this. the american people are fed up with our inability to just do the right thing. we have an obligation to pay our debts just like we have a personal obligation to pay our credit cards. that's what the president's talking about and if the republicans are basically saying we're not going to pay our credit cards, they're turning in to deadbeats and they may be publicly impugned because of it. >> thank you very much, congresswoman speier. >> thank you. >> let's bring in john rosenthal, shera topolast and contributor jimmy williams sheer. let's start with you. you heard congresswoman speier say this will be the death knell for the republican party. the president asked who the american people would blame and perhaps saying there's enough
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blame to go around but the bottom line, this is not about new debts, new spending. this is about as laid out by the president today and others, paying your bills. >> right. and i think the white house is really struggled when it comes to messaging in the first term when things like this, legislation, the battles. the president had a very clear message. i think improved on this saying you need to pay your bills. if you can't go out to expensive restaurants, relating to the average american family, you have to go to a less expensive restaurant. i would go back a little over a decade ago to when bill clinton was president and the government did shut down. who got the blame for that? it was congressional republicans. and that's why it's interesting that congressional republicans this time around taken such a hard line saying we're ready to go and let the government default if we don't get more spending cuts. >> what do you think is the strategy there looking at
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history and not very distant history, shira? >> i think that's, frankly, all republican haves to bargain with at this point. they're bargaining and when the president was at the podium today he essentially said your move, congress. come up with the next idea. but generally, that's all they have. they have the majority in the house. and in that case, it's not a very controlled caucus. it's a very fractured caucus. democrats controlling the senate and the white house. they don't have a good bargaining position here again. all they can do is appeal to the base and american people they want more spending cuts. >> jimmy, congresswoman morris, a republican quoted on politico saying i think it's possible that we would shut down the government to make sure that president obama understands we're serious. we're talking about whether or not to kick the can down the road. i think mood is that we have come to the end of the road. with that kind of talk from republicans, in the house, will anything get done? >> i think, listen, they have to
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come up with some kind of agreement. if they don't, in fact, her premonition will come true and parts of the government will shut down. listen. you have an echo of different republican leader that is are out there saying that the theory of a government shutdown would not be such a bad idea and setting this up, trying to desensitize what would otherwise be a pretty calamitous thing for the country and the economy. >> we heard the same thing about the fiscal cliff from progressives on this show saying let's go over the cliff, how bad could it be? >> absolutely. people on the left saying the same thing and what i think is going to happen here is going to come to a short-term agreement and they're going to wait for the president's budget which is due out i think the beginning of february, less than a month and so, listen. the republicans are setting this up, they're teeing it up for a government shutdown. the question is, will they pull the trigger? shira is right. that did not work out so well
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for them. they took a huge hit and if you don't remember, newt gingrich had to resign soon thereafter. their track record on this doesn't bode well. >> john, let me bring you in on the conversation. as i mentioned, the founder and chairman of stop handgun violence and been on with us since the newtown tragedy a month ago and now the president is saying, later this week, we'll hear more specifics from him likely to include some kind of assault weapons ban and at the end of the last week that was a surprise because you had folks that believe with the nra saying the legislation, even though they don't vote, they have great influence over those who do vote, would not make it through the house. >> yeah, tamron, it is amazing. look at the terminology. dead on arrival. death knell. 87 americans die every single day from firearms. and it doesn't come as any surprise to the majority of your viewers that the system is broken in washington and
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partisanship and self preservation of the elected office is more important than the business they have been elected to do in washington. but when you think about this issue, i mean, 26 7-year-olds. since newtown, another 800 americans killed from guns and the congress is saying that a ban on assault weapons and a background check for all gun sales is just too radical? when 87 americans die every day. the system's broken. all these members of congress have been sort of trained to do. i mean, remember, there are congress people. we put them there. now they're more concerned about the threats from the nra. if they vote for common sense gun violence prevention laws they might face a challenger which might mean they get voted out of office and they no longer have the free health care and free travel. this is truth is stranger than fiction. it's a public health crisis in this country and they're saying that the debt ceiling is more
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important than 87 dead americans a day including 3,000 americans every month. that's the equivalent of a 9/11 every month. and these cowards in congress can't put public safety in front of self preservation of their own office? >> you know, it's interesting this group today called sandy hook promise, some of the victims' families and survivors and first responders had their press conference this morning and want to be included in the conversation on gun control legislation but even, john, in that community the most recent for us to witness something of this level of mass killings, there's a divide on even what to do next. and they are if you're going to continue using analogy of what happens on 9/11, they're the ground zero if you will for the latest massacre and in the nightly news report we saw even there, there's a divide on what's the likely next option,
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john. >> you know, tamron, there's always going to be special interests and wayne lapierre from the nra paid, i don't know, over $1 million a year to say anything but the fact that our members of congress are so intimidated or purchased and owned by the nra that they won't stand up for the majority of americans and by the way, no one has a gun to congress's head. this is voluntary, voluntarily being held hostage in order to continue to collect the nra and gun industry, the unregulated gun industry's blood money campaign contributions. and shame on congress and shame on us for not holding our congress accountable. >> shira, back to the issue of accountability, and i can't go back enough to the statement of david keene, the president of nra saying he doesn't believe an assault weapons ban would go through congress but some of the
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proposals expecting from the president which john touched on includes a universal background check on all gun buyers and the white house not backing off on a new assault weapons ban. the president saying consult your conscience. with some of the stats that john also pointed out and with this new ground swell of people who are gun rights advocates backed by mayors, bloomberg with his millions of dollars of influence and out with a new ad today, where does this leave the members of the gop? even those in red states. >> right. so, there's some members of congress, republicans, many of whom in the south from conservative areas that will not vote for anything that at all looks like a restriction on gun rights. they won't vote for it. some democrats, a few, as well. to pass any kind of legislation on gun control through congress, what the president and gun control allies are going to need are about 20 or 10 republicans in the house to come on board, make way for any democrats who jump ship and decide they can't vote for the legislation and
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then they'll need every democratic member of the senate to come board and a couple more republicans to get through filibuster, they need 60 there. those are tall orders and doesn't seem like an assault weapons ban, i haven't done a whip check myself but doesn't seem like it has enough votes. background checks so far seems like much more palatable thing to congress. >> and then looking at the options that they can move through with executive action? >> well, i'm not sure what the president's power is with executive action. i have no idea but with the congress shira's dead on. you don't have the numbers in the house. there is no majority. the majority to move, frankly, any kind of gun control. and the senate, you have to look at who's in cycle. especially on the democratic side. and let's be brutally honest about that. there are four or five southern democrats or red state democrats that are up for re-election as
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we speak and they're not going to want to take these tough votes and so it's very hard to get it through, either chamber, frankly. i think what you get is a watered down bill which is sad. >> thank you. up next, the other piece of legislation the president said is a first-year priority, comprehensive immigration reform. now there are new reports the white house will go for one ambitious bill to include a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants but does it stand a chance of getting through congress? plus, in a few hours, the house of representative wills take up part two of that hurricane sandy relief bill. before an expected vote tomorrow. but despite outrage over its delay, the bill is still in danger of not passing. and coca-cola, the world's largest drink company and often targets of critics focused on sugary drinks, working to combat obesity. details of coke's first-ever
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we've got to stop lurching from crisis to crisis to crisis when there's this clear path ahead of us that simply requires some discipline, responsibly and compromise. that's where we need to go. that's how this needs to work. >> and the president today just a few hours ago insisting he is not willing to get in to another protracted battle with congress again over the debt ceiling or the debt limit. where do we go from here? joining me now live mark murray. mark, obviously, the first thing
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at least some conservatives brought up with the president is that he has taken a different stance in the past when it came to the debt ceiling. >> well, in 2006, then senator barack obama ended up voting against a raise in the debt ceiling. republicans have seized on that saying that the position that president obama's taking today and also in 2011 is inconsistent with that 2006 vote. there is one very big difference between now and 2006. 2006 there wasn't this kind of big protracted battle over the debt ceiling at all. it wasn't a big issue. i was covering politics for nbc at the time. the debt ceiling increase was seen as a procedure and a very partisan vote then but not something you were reporting on for weeks and months like we have in 2011 then and now on the debt ceiling debate and, of course, what happened in 2011 was a loss to the nation's credit rating. there's big differences between 2006 and now.
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>> and also, to factor in with the differences you pointed out is how much the president has offered in negotiations. as far as cutting spending, not as if it's been a zero sum game from the white house regarding the nation's spending problem and an acknowledgment of that. >> one of the messages president obama is trying to get across today how much is cut in spending, whether it was in that 2011 debt ceiling agreement in the budget control act, whether it was also the revenue that was increased with the end of the fiscal cliff talks that we had right at the beginning of the new year, tamron. so, president obama said, look, we have really cut a lot of spending. there's more that he would like to be able to do but that it would be ludicrous to suggest there's no spending cut over the last year and a half. >> let's play the president's answer to the question over who would be blamed if we actually see a shutdown. this is his answer a short time ago. >> i suspect that the american people would blame all of washington for not being able to
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get the act together. >> ta-da! blame everybody in that town excludeing you, of course, mark. but the reality of the situation is that it would be enough blame to go around. president bringing up medicare and social security, as well. being concerned of what do you cut and who ends up hurt in all of this? what's the likely next step given the reaction from speaker boehner and senator mitch mcconnell minutes after the president's remarks? >> tamron, i mean, most likely we have a brinksmanship and every type of issue there is. president obama was saying we shouldn't be doing that anymore. but chances are that there will be some type of last-minute deal to be able to have a death defying act to avoid all of this. president obama said i want to put this aside. the debt ceiling increase and republicans have pointed out time and time again, president obama when you push him, he'll concede to be able to get a deal. and that was a big lesson we learned in the fiscal cliff debate. president obama is willing to
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compromise because he wants to come times get a deal and republicans might use that to try to get whatever they can from him. >> real quick, almost out of time but we know at the end of the fiscal cliff negotiations all of the headlines were the republicans were ready to make this concession because they were loading, if you will, up for this battle over the debt ceiling that they saw it as their opportunity to exact revenge or whatever you like to describe it as on the president and the administration. they couldn't win that battle regarding taxes. with this one, they have leverage. >> they thought it was their leverage but still when you go in to this debate, tamron, they control only one part of the government. it's a house of representatives. democrats control the senate. they control the white house. so while house republicans do have some leverage, we also learned something from the fiscal cliff negotiations that john boner's willing to bring legislation to the floor that doesn't have this majority of support from the party and pretty big, as well. >> all right. mark, thank you very much.
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greatly appreciate it. talk to you tomorrow on these things. former president george h.w. bush has now been released from the hospital in houston today and headed home. mr. bush was admitted to the hospital around thanksgiving, suffering from a severe case of bronchitis. in the stay, developed a fever. doctors say he'll continue physical therapy at home. mr. bush is 88 years old. my starting point is not to worry about the politics. my starting point to focus on what makes sense, what works. what should we be doing to make sure that our children are safe? and that we're reducing the incidence of gun violence. >> the president expected to unveil his plan to curb gun violence this week. i'll talk about the political realities on possible legislation and we have also gotten word that vice president joe biden's recommendations day early to the president. the supreme court taking on a challenge of the rnc on a 30-year-old court order to
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it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day men's 50+. welcome back. exactly one month after the school shootings in newtown, connecticut, an emotional news conference just a few hours ago. parents of some of the 20 children killed spoke about their loss and pledged to take action to prevent a repiece of such violence. among those, the mother of 6-year-old dylan and 6-year-old anna marquez-green. >> i still find myself reaching for dylan's hand to walk through a parking lot or expecting him to crawl in to bed with me for early morning cuddles before we get ready for school. >> on friday, december 14th, i put two children on the bus and only one came home. i pray that no mother, father, grandparent or caregiver of children ever have to go through this pain.
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>> our hearts are broken. our spirit is not. this is our promise. the sandy hook promise. >> those mothers and others have formed what you heard there, the sanly hook promise. meantime, at his news conference today, the president acknowledged an uphill fight in congress over new gun laws. joining me congressman adam schiff of california. thank you for your time. we got word president obama is meeting with the vice president and one day ahead of schedule, they've met their goal and he's delivered the recommendations from the task force and the president says he will announce more details later this week. do you know anymore than at least that's been reported and what we heard from the president on what legislation he would like to see specifically pursued? >> well, i'm guessing that what you have been hearing is very accurate and that is that a high priority will be universal background checks. those people you should the impression of a loophole for gun shows, the reality is it's much broader than that. only really retailers are
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covered by the requirement of background checks. everyone else is exempt and require background checks with any gun sales and i think that makes infinite sense. a been on high ammunition magazine clips, ban on assault and mental health checks and balances part of it. these are all i think essential ingredients. how can you not be moved by what we heard and the mothers had to say? if that doesn't compel congress to act, i don't know what can. >> but the reality is, and i had a lot of people e-mail and you have heard this line of questioning, as well. the background checks are important but a background check would not have prevented the newtown massacre that the weapon of choice there by adam lanza is where we should be focused first. i want to play what joe manchin, west virginia, as you know, democrat, lifelong member of the nra, what he said this morning regarding the assault rifles.
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>> i don't know anyone in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. i don't know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting. >> assault weapons -- >> would you vote for that? >> just guns alone will not in the political reality of today will not go anywhere. >> that was the comment initially december 17th of people not needing these kinds of weapons and you see a transition if, if you will. i don't know the fair way to describe the stance now but it does point to the difficulty here when you start talking about these assault weapons which the president at least has indicated he's going to move forward with calling on a ban. >> well, he should. i mean, this is very important and as i think the president's made clear, there is no single solution that's going to solve all these problems or prevent each and every catastrophe. the background checks wouldn't have helped in terms of sandy hook but gun homicides since that terrible day. the assault weapons ban and a
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ban on ammunition clips could help prevent another sandy hook so if it going to be tough? yes, it is going to be tough but if there was ever a time to do it this is it. this is a tipping point for the nation. it has to be a tipping point for the congress, as well. if we can't act in the face of this unspeakable tragedy, it really is just an appalling indictment of the congress and the political system. >> if we end up with legislation on background checks alone, will this -- could this be called a failure by congress? >> absolutely it will be called a failure by congress. it should be. the background checks are very important but they're not the full piece of the puzzle and there are a lot of components to it and i think the vice president will have a very comprehensive proposal for the president today but, no, we should not be satisfied with only one piece of this. it just can't be the case that we have to make this the new normal. that these unspeakable tragedies
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that happen week after week, month after month, become part of the every day fabric of the country, that's unacceptable and i think you're going to see a strong effort to keep any defections among democrats limited and try to win over some of the suburban republicans in the house and senate and we can find that sweet spot where we can get this legislation passed. >> congressman schiff, thank you for your time today. i greatly appreciate it. >> thank you. and the house is back in session this hour, less than three hours, the rules committee will go over the bill to give aid to hurricane sandy victims and could be another fight. nbc capitol hill correspondent kelly o'donnell is here. we have heard of chris christie. what is the problem this time after speaker boehner pledged to get this done? >> reporter: well, they're taking this in a couple of steps, tamron. we did see that they passed some
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of the funding for flood insurance and that piece was done before they took a break. now some of the questions, are there elements of the package not directly related to the needs of hurricane sandy and are these steps take anna nicole a way that's funding long-term projects? the question isn't is there a need for federal relief. it is how to do it, when to do it and for how much, and have there been other kinds of disasters unrelated to hurricane sandy but also might have some legitimate need being tacked on here. one of the problems that can happen in congress is when there's a piece of legislation that has some real world need and some emotion attached to it. that's the case with victims of hurricane sandy. other things can get added on knowing that the bill is likely to pass and part of what needs to be done is a debate over what should be in, what's not in and what's a real and appropriate way to spend money now and what might be a project for down the line. this is emergency funding
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meaning they don't have to find a way to offset it against the debt and that's a question. should some of the projects be part of the normal order of things approving it in a slower pace for long-term rebuilding, this kind of thing, so expect a fight. not so much should there be help but how much. >> appreciate it. "zero dark thirty," topped the box office but a lot of calls for an oscar boycott. despite the fact, also, that the leading actress in the film went home with a golden globe just yesterday. it's today's "nurs nation" gut check. of a $15 cream to equal the moisturizing power of one use of regenerist microsculpting cream. seems not all red jars are created equal. olay regenerist.
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path to citizenship for most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country and plans to lay out the president's plan in the coming weeks, perhaps the state of the union address. joining me now on what the legislation possibly could look like, jose diaz balard. good to have you on again. >> pleasure. >> as we know, that doesn't mean it's not a priority. >> well, yeah. i mean, you know what, again. it's the press's responsibility to deal with all kinds of issues when they get the opportunity to speak with the president and unless apparently it's spanish language tv asking the question, a lot of people simply don't -- reporters don't think of asking about immigration reform which is a very important issue for a lot of people in the united states, not just latinos. >> and an issue the president says is important to him and one that was spoken about in great terms during the election cycle, the failure by the republicans to acknowledge that self
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deportation is not a policy and, quite honestly, some within the latino community saw as a failure by this president to not keep his pledge to do something about immigration reform so if you were at the news conference today, what would be your specific question for the president given what we have learned from this time's article? >> these are great questions, tamron. the question is, mr. president, what specifically are you planning to propose and when vis-a-vis immigration reform? state of the union is probably going to be as good of a forum as any other, probably the best forum and talked about immigration reform throughout his first term. and quite frankly, it takes more than just talk. now, what "the new york times" doesn't talk to you about and other newspapers and certainly telemundo reporting many, many years now is that there are some bipartisan attempts both in the senate and the house to try and
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get to some proposal that could be both acceptable to democrats and republicans. we see, for example, "los angeles times" reporting since november of last year, as a matter of fact, there's a group of legislators including two california members of congress and some republicans to try and see if there are some issues that both sides could agree on and the sticking point, tamron, seems to be exactly how you handle these different issues regarding immigration reform. >> in the past, when we have talked about immigration reform, jose, critics have said, you're providing amnesty, rewarding people in the country illegally and who in their opinions have benefited and not brought in anything but paying sales tax and so on and so forth with this economy but the bottom line is how does the president avoid or any way to avoid critics who say whatever that's put out there is essentially amnesty?
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>> yeah. you will have critics on both sides. if, indeed, groups agree for some bipartisan proposal because if it's bipartisan, it means that, you know, some of the thing that is the left wants aren't going to be included and some things the right insists aren't included. it is not just that the people have been here and paying taxes. that overwhelming number have. but you know what? many here for decades, they have children and grandchildren here, part of the community. they're part of the reason we are able to get our produce at the prices that we're able to get them. they're part of the reason that this economy works. you know, in new york, you go to the finest french restaurant and you're going to find that the chef may not be french. he probably is south of the border. but not the border between, you know, france and some other country. it's a border -- south of the border here in the united states. it's part of the fabric of american society and the question is, isn't it about time that this country deal with 11
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million people who have been here for decades and who aren't going anywhere in the near future? not going to self deport. mitt romney learned that lesson 6th of november. deal with it in a humane position and both sides have to sit down and agree to what they can agree to. >> we'll see what the comprehensive proposal or bill will be if this report is accurate. the president is moving forward quickly on it. thank you very much, jose. see you soon. >> thank you, tamron. we'll be right back. if you have high blood pressure and get a cold get coricidin hbp. the number one pharmacist recommended cold brand designed for people with high blood pressure. and the only one i use to relieve my cold symptoms without raising my blood pressure. coricidin hbp.
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i've always kept my eye on her... but with so much health care noise, i didn't always watch out for myself. with unitedhealthcare, i get personalized information and rewards for addressing my health risks. but she's still going to give me a heart attack. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. just as sotomayor made history becoming the sport's first hispanic justice, she's written a new memoir released in english and spanish. she talks about the path taking her to the nation's highest court and criticized for split along ideological lines. this morning, sotomayor defended the court's integrity. >> do you think that is bad for the credibility of the court as
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an institution if people have the perception it's splitting along partisan or ideological lines? >> yes. if i believe that that was the reason for the split which i don't. the fact that there's a circuit split makes it clear that there are different ways of looking at the situation and that the answer's not a slam dunk. >> nbc latino sandra lily sat down with the justice. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> another topic that justice sotomayor went after, affirmative action. the court will hear a case soon. you have her opinion of affirmative action, the viewpoint and clarence thomas. she called herself an affirmative action baby. >> absolutely, tamron. justice sotomayor pul pulls no punches defending affirmative action and gives a great example in the book. in front of everybody she was told did you get to yale law
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school because you were puerto rican? she filed a formal complaint against him and she says it's important for children that never would have had the chance to get somewhere to get to an ivy league school if they can do it like she did. >> did she elaborate on just how different she and i use clarence thomas because his words regarding affirmative action certainly been controversial and commented on many, many times, how different they are regarding this issue? >> she did not and in the book she stays very -- she only does it based on her memories and very clear to those of us observing what will happen is there's marked differences. justice thomas said the yale law school worth 15 cents and he doesn't think affirmative action helps. she sees it as a badge of honor, prejudice to think that a minority student who does well, it's because of affirmative action. i was smart,dy the work and that's why i'm here.
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>> you said her book holding nothing back. >> holding nothing back. >> interesting far justice to do that. >> a fascinating childhood, it was full of adversity and optimistic and a great american story. >> all right. thank you so much. congratulations on the interview. >> thank you. >> thank you. the main actress or the lead actress in "zero dark thirty" just won a golden globe last night. but there is a push for a boycott of the film now for the oscars. two famous actors say it glorifies torture and they're calling on the folk who is vote for the academy to really take a look at the movie and their conscience, as well. what does your gut tell you?
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there is a lot going on today. the supreme court is turned down an effort by the republican national committee to end a 30-year-old court order aimed at ending intimidation of minority
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voters. the republicans said it gets in the way of fighting voter fraud. a surprise presenter at last night's golden globe awards, former president bill clinton received a standing ovation before introducing one of the nominees for best drama, "lincoln." >> a tough fight to push a bill through a bitterly divided house of representatives. winning it required the president to make a lot of unsavory deals. that had nothing to do with the big issue. i wouldn't know anything about that. >> wow. what an exciting special guest. that was hillary clinton's husband. >> and the movie "game change" about the 2008 presidential campaign won three golden globes for tv best movie, and one for sarah palin and ed harris on playing senator john mccain. and a movie that was nominated for several golden
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globes, the subject of today's "gut check." jessica chastain won the award and in running for best picture at the oscars. the film is about, of course, the killing of osama bin laden and tracking him down and graphically depicts torture. this weekend, martin sheen and ed asner encouraged peers to vote against it as best picture saying it glorifies torture and they say it's a vote of conscience. sony pictures strongly refuted that. so if you've seen the movie and a lot of you had, many of you read about it, what does your gut tell you on this? do you agree with the actors saying it glorifies torture and should be boycotted from the oscars? go to facebook.com/newsnation to cast that vote. i'm tamron hall. "the cycle" is up next. what are you doing? nothing. are you stealing our daughter's school supplies and taking them to work?
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